Everyone knows how much their favourite canine companion loves to go for a W-A-L-K and walking is essential for maintaining cardiovascular fitness. However, walking also causes high levels of friction through the joints so in the early stages of rehabilitation, walking too far or too fast can do more harm than good.
For this reason, we encourage everyone to return to walking very gradually. Below we’ve outlined our own program that makes it easy and safe for you and your furry friend to build up to your normal walking distance.
In the early days following surgery or an injury, dramatic changes are taking place in the affected muscles, bones and joints. During this time, all outdoor exercise should be done on leash. Unrestrained exercise during this important healing period may affect the long term use of the leg so please, keep your best friend on a lead, even when going to the toilet.
- Walks can begin the day after your pet has been given the go-ahead by your physiotherapist or vet.
- Your first walk should be approximately 200m (or 5 houses in your average suburb).
- Walk slowly and always on-leash. Walking slowly encourages stepping correctly and decreases the chance of your pet overdoing it.
- Increase the distance by 20m or 1 house each day.
After 8 weeks of this walking program, you and your dog will be walking just under 1km, but should not be walking any further. This is an excellent point to have your physiotherapist reassess your pet so that we can provide your pet with an individual physiotherapy program to enhance your pet’s recovery.